Common Causes And Triggers Of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, causing a rapid buildup of skin cells. The buildup of cells can cause scaling, inflammation, and redness on the skin’s surface.

Psoriatic scales develop in thick, red patches, and they are whitish-silver. In some cases, the patches can crack and bleed.

The scales can develop anywhere on the body, including the joints, knees, elbows, hands, feet, and neck. You can also see the scales on the scalp and face. Furthermore, less common psoriasis can affect the mouth, nails, and genital area.

How do you know when you have psoriasis, and what triggers it? 

This article discusses things you should know about psoriasis. Kindly read along.

Symptoms Of Psoriasis

There are different types of psoriasis, and people experience different symptoms depending on the type of psoriasis. The scales from psoriasis can cover small areas or a majority of the body.

It is important to note that some people’s symptoms go through cycles. The symptoms may be severe for days or weeks, then clear up or become almost unnoticeable. After a few weeks, there may be a flare-up.

Common symptoms of psoriasis include;

  • Inflamed skin patches which may appear red on light skin or brown on dark skin
  • Whitish-silver scales on the red patches and grayscales on brown patches
  • Dry skin susceptible to cracking and bleeding
  • Itching and burning sensations
  • Soreness
  • Swollen and painful joints

Causes Of Psoriasis

The major causes of psoriasis are the immune system and genetics

Immune system

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means it results from the body attacking itself. This condition occurs when white blood cells attack the skin cells mistakenly.

Usually, the white blood cells in the body attack and destroy bacteria to fight infections. When the white blood cells attack the skin cells, there is an overdrive in the production process. The body rapidly produces and develops new skin cells, pushing them to the skin surface and piling up.

The piling up of the skin cells causes plaques and red, inflamed areas, which is a symptom of psoriasis.


For some people, psoriasis is genetic. Although, You are at a higher risk of developing psoriasis if you have an immediate family member with the condition, only a small percentage of people develop psoriasis because of their genetic predisposition.

What Triggers Psoriasis?

Triggers start a new bout of psoriasis, but they are the same for everyone. Also, triggers may change over time. Common triggers of psoriasis include;


Experiencing a high level of stress can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis. Managing your stress can help reduce and even prevent psoriasis.


Excessively taking alcohol can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis frequently. Therefore, reducing your alcohol consumption is a smart move for not just your skin but your overall health. If you need help quitting alcohol, your doctor can help you create a customized plan.


Injuries that can trigger psoriasis flare-up include accidents, scrapes, cuts, and sunburns. Shots and vaccines can also trigger an outbreak of psoriasis.


Antimalarial medications, lithium and medications for infections and high blood pressure can trigger an outbreak of psoriasis.


When you are ill or your body is fighting an infection, your immune system will fight the infection by going into overdrive, triggering psoriasis.

Psoriasis Treatment Methods

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis; however, the available treatment methods can slow the growth of skin cells, reduce inflammation and scales, and remove plaques. There are three treatment categories of psoriasis depending on the severity of the condition.

Topical treatments are suitable for mild to moderate psoriasis, including creams and ointments applied directly to the skin. Some treatments include salicylic acid, moisturizers, retinoid, and corticosteroids.

For moderate to severe psoriasis, oral or injected medications of cyclosporine or methotrexate are suitable. Another treatment method is a light therapy using UV or natural light to kill overactive white blood cells that may attack healthy skin cells. Therefore, UVA and UVB light can reduce mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition where overactive white blood cells attack the skin cells, increasing the buildup of skin cells and causing scales. Genetics and the immune system are the major causes of psoriasis, and treatment methods depend on the condition’s severity.